Lent 2021

Because God loves you

In today’s Gospel Jesus sees Nicodemus and acknowledges the love he holds for him. God sees each one of us as Nicodemus. Why is it so hard to imagine that God loves me? Is that possible? I am flawed, and I sin. I make mistakes, and I hurt people. Do I accept that God loves me? “For God so loved the world that he sent his only Son so that we (I) might live.” (John 3:16) God loves me, and you, in our imperfections, or maybe because of them. God created each one of us, and says, “You are good.” Each and every one of us …

This Lent I am called to love others as God loves me. That is a big call. If God loves us and sent Jesus to show us the way to love, after 2,000 years, one would think we would be nearly perfect at loving. And yet, we are not.

What would I be like if I truly believed that each person was of inestimable value, regardless of political ideology, status or possessions?

What would my relationships be like if I realized that God loves those I find difficult to love as much as God loves me?

God desires our happiness, our joy. Why is it so easy at times to be judgmental, harsh, and hurtful?

During a recent Confirmation, Bishop Caggiano, the bishop of Bridgeport, Connecticut, talked about masks. He said we wear them now, even though they are annoying, because we love others. He also shared that our masks are a metaphor for the spiritual masks we choose to wear. They are a mask for how we, at times, live and operate in our world. We mask our mouths when we don’t tell the truth we know should be spoken. We mask our eyes when we don’t see the vulnerable and hurting in our midst. We mask our ears when we choose to not hear the cries of the poor.

If God sent Jesus for me … I am called to respond in love. I’m called to take off my masks. The masks I choose to put on.

Questions for further reflection:

  • What masks do I wear that hinder my ability to love?
  • Do I truly believe that God loves everyone as much as he loves me?
  • How am I called to see people, situations differently?

Reflection: Lori Wilson and Peggy Gorman, co-chairs of the Associates Leadership Team
Image: Photo by Lori Wilson